Listening to Republicans and Fox News Channel today, one would think that Barack Obama is ready to destroy Israel in his quest for good relations with the Islamic world.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Obama, in his speech at the State Department yesterday, and in his meeting with right wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today at the White House, made it clear that the United States does not expect Israel to negotiate with Palestinian leadership which refuses to recognize the right of Israel to exist.
Obama also said that the Palestinian leadership cannot expect Israel to accept their dealing with and uniting with Hamas, the terrorist government in charge of the Gaza Strip.
Also, Obama said that the United States would back up Israel in the United Nations against any move to delegitimize or isolate it by vote in that body.
Also, Israel cannot be expected to endanger its own national security and safe borders, and that America would back its steadfast ally in its desire to remain a secular, democratic nation.
The controversial part of the Obama speech yesterday dealt with the proposal to return to pre 1967 borders with some mutually agreeable land swaps to stabilize the territorial boundaries of Israel and a Palestinian state. This is, Obama said, a beginning point for negotiations. Notice, the words are BEGINNING point for NEGOTIATIONS! It is NOT settling the final boundaries and terms of a settlement.
This idea of promoting negotiations and making concessions on both sides is nothing new! It was promoted by all of our Presidents since Israel was created in 1948, but always with the guarantee of protection of the security interests of Israel, our traditional ally!
To believe that President Obama is abandoning Israel is simply wrong thinking, and it must be recalled that earlier Israeli governments under other Prime Ministers were willing to make concessions for peace, but without handing over the security and sovereignty of Israel to Palestinians and terrorists.
The main point here is to help promote negotiations at a time of the so called “Arab Spring”, when so much turmoil and possible democratization is occurring in an area that has seen such harsh dictatorial regimes for so long.
It turns out that President George W. Bush had called for return to pre 1949 boundary lines when Israel was first created, as recently as a speech in 2008, while Obama referred to pre 1967, which in most respects is the same statement, but when Bush suggested it, his party endorsed it, but when Obama suggests it, he is bitterly condemned by Republicans.
What it comes down to is that the Republican party, as always, will simply come out against anything Obama says or does, even if it follows earlier Republican principles or stands.
So an appropriate term for this might be that the Republican Party has a disease–Obama Derangement Syndrome!